Censorship of Al Jazeera [Archives:2004/768/Opinion]

August 30 2004

By John Mackesy
[email protected]
For the Yemen Times

The suppression of the Al Jazeera news office in Baghdad shows that the American military has given Iraq a new dictatorship with a free hand to violate rights guaranteed to citizens in the US Constitution. I read many articles from Al Jazeera on the Yahoo internet news page. Al Jazeera offered realistic reporting and assessments from a war zone, not just optimistic military propaganda. All people who believe in Freedom of the Press should denounce this blatant attempt to control thought with force. The Iraq war is a reaction to the dreadful event known as 9/11. The root cause of 9/11 was the American Government weapons profiteering and distributing weapons that empowered dictators like the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, the Emir of Kuwait and King of Saudi Arabia. Human Rights watch ranks Saudi Arabia at the bottom of the list, Amnesty International reports its secret police as being as notorious in the use of torture as Stalin's. Yet the American Government sells the Saudi leaders billions of dollars of weapons. Most 9/11 suspects are Saudi Arabians. Yet Bush and his propagandist Powell falsely linked 9/11 to Iraq and launched a grotesque war that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and the maiming and crippling of many innocent people. This is lynching a crowd of innocent bystanders. The Iraq war is a flagrant violation of International Law. Just the act of plotting it was a war crime. Nuremberg Principles Articles VI and VII make it a Crime Against Peace and a Crime Against Humanity to “Conspire to Engage In, Wage or Be Complicit in the Waging of a War of Aggression.” The Iraq war was plotted and hatched with lies and deceptions, so it is evil in nature. .
If you heard a man say “I enjoy killing people. I just feel rage, hate when I go outside” you would probably think “Here is a serial killer who should be removed from society”. In an article from the L. A. Times entitled “Enemy contact, kill 'em, kill 'em” a United States soldier is quoted saying “I enjoy killing Iraqis. I just feel rage, hate out there.” How many American soldiers in Iraq think like that, their minds poisoned by a war that is evil in nature?
The “Out there” is beyond the military fortresses. If the America and British occupying soldiers are doing anything good, ask “What would happen if all the soldiers and the new government leaders left their fortresses, and weapons, to meet the people they are supposed to be helping?” It is likely that the Iraq people furious at the suffering inflicted upon them would attack and beat the soldiers to death and cheer “Iraq is the cemetery of Americans” and “God is greatest.”
Should not the Iraqi people be angry at the horrendous suffering and carnage inflicted on them in the name of “Freedom and Democracy?” How hollow those words are in light of the censorship of Al Jazeera. Iraqis are denied a free press as a foreign army occupies their land and war profiteers grow rich supplying weapons to kill their countrymen and feast on war loot. News reports indicate many billions of dollars of oil revenue has just disappeared. The money is being funneled through associates of the new power brokers and their appointees. The American military installed a government in Iraq by force. The ceremonies were held in a fortress on a military base with troops on full security alert with helicopter gunships circling and snipers on the battlements ready to blow apart any person who resisted. How can this be called anything but a puppet government? The leader of the Iraq governing council has assumed full powers of a tyrant. He declared martial law and a curfew, had political dissidents arrested, censored news and had houses bombed by the foreigners who empower him. By authorizing American warplanes to bomb houses in civilian areas that killed women and children, he has sealed a pact of blood with the occupiers of his own country. To stay alive the installed leaders must sign the papers put before them by their puppet masters, giving sovereingty over their nation to foreigners. The foreign military installed leaders are betraying their people for power, no matter how well intentioned the facade is presented. What good can ever come of this? The coalition installed governing leaders know that if the foreign occupying soldiers leave, the Iraq people will swarm the Green Zone fortress and hang them from the nearest lamp posts. The only way the collaborators can live in their own country now is behind tanks and heavily armed troops, fortress walls and barbed wire. The leaders can dictate laws and give lucrative contracts and public funds to their friends and families by collaborating with the occupiers. What will come of this but more carnage and suffering, resistance and harsh repression, the fragmentation of a nation and destruction of the human spirit with the Iraq atrocity of the day? This will lead to more terrorist acts and excuses to drain hundreds of billions of dollars to the military industrial corporations that are looting the treasuries of the United States and Iraq. Many people suffer greatly so war profiteers can gain wealth and power in their illegal war with its evil foundation of lies and fabrications.
In America now, people are looking back over their shoulders nervously like something is gnawing at their consciences. They know that it is all wrong and are fearful of a payback. The media has the people in a state of fear awaiting a “Major terrorist event.” I heard two doctors talking, one carries a gas mask in her purse, the other in his briefcase, prepared for a bio agent attack. Newspapers speculate about suitcase sized dirty nuclear bombs taking out New York or Washington D.C. Who made the shadowy enemies for the American people? The Executive Branch of the United States government created enemies by shipping weapons and interfering in foreign lands for economic motives. Just one big explosion or bad computer day is all it would take to throw the American people into confusion and panic and allow the Iraq war plotters to escape war crime justice by declaring a state of Emergency. If anyone doubts what Bush is capable of doing or Powell justifying, go on the internet and search “Iraq war civilian casualty photos.” Look at the pictures of children with faces and limbs blown off, and mothers weeping in agony over bloody corpses. Face your own conscience, think how all this carnage and misery is the product of lies. Here is the news Al Jazeera reports that is not shown on American media. I work as a tour guide in the Napa Valley in California and talk with people from all over the world. I am told that Americans are becoming the most hated people in the world since Germans followed Hitler to war. Last week the Chief of Staff of the US military announced the military will keep at least 145,000 soldiers in Iraq for at least five years. His pronouncement makes it seem as though Congress doesn't exist and that who is President, or the opinion of the American people, doesn't matter. It's all about power and money for the military. A retired General said, “For the coming war American democracy will have to be replaced by a military government.” The Republic seems to be in it's last days, one bad day from Bush or a General signing a State of Emergency Declaration taking total power and getting away with murder. The American people are sleepwalking to dictatorship by financing and going along with this War of Deceptions. Think of curfews, resistance and repression in America, and the excuse to establish a draft and conscript millions of young men to kill people for oil power in the Middle East. Already in some American cities cars are stopped and searched by government security forces wielding automatic weapons. Here is 1984 unfolding and the citizenry is brainwashed to accept creeping totalitarianism by the propaganda of the out of control military that created terrorist enemies for Americans.
Bush says God chose him and that the interesting thing about being President is that he can do whatever he wants and he doesn't have to answer to anyone. This apparently includes using lies and exaggerations to sell a war and ordering bombings that have killed at least 10,000 civilians and lead to the deaths of tens of thousands more.
The debacle will only get worse from here. American military field commanders say routinely “There is no room for failure.” This means “We will kill as many people as necessary to achieve the goals.” Yesterday's news quoted a Marine Captain triumphantly stating that the US military had killed 300 “Enemies of the Iraqi people” in the last two days. He should have said they killed 300 Iraqi people who were “Enemies of a foreign occupying army.” The suffering of the Iraqi will increase in proportion to the billions of dollars looted by the US treasury for the Generals and military industrial corporations. The fruits of the inflicted misery will be political campaign contributions, that finance television ads and mass mailings about winning the War on Terrorism. Here is the world's greatest scam brought to you by the most dangerous people since Hitler and his cadre used false propaganda to wage Wars of Aggression. The Democrat Party opponent to Bush, Mr. Kerry's solution is to give the military more equipment and continue the tragedy. If he is so blind morally, to not take a stand of conscience and say “We were lied to, this war is evil, I will order all American occupying soldiers home the day I take office” he doesn't deserve to be President. Kerry appears too weak to do what a President must do, stand up to the Generals who waged a war in violation of International Law and say “Back down.” Here is an alternative future for Americans with two admissions and two actions. Americans must admit that the Iraq War is illegal and that it was plotted and hatched with lies and deceptions, so it is evil in nature. Nuremberg Principles Articles VI and VII make it a Crime Against Peace and a Crime Against Humanity to “Conspire to engage in, wage or be complicit in the waging of a War of Aggression “Admit that American taxpayers are individually and collectively responsible for financing the carnage and suffering caused by this illegal war.
On the Internet, search and print the Nuremberg Principles. Search Iraq war civilian casualty photos on sites like Victims of War, www.albasrah.net or www.robertfisk.com. See the pictures that are making Americans despised around the world. From the thousands of heartbreaking images, select and print 10 that touch you deeply. Concerned Americans should show the Nuremberg Principles and pictures to 10 people. Say “Here is something you need to see and act against. We are responsible for this.” The sight of what the high explosive bombs they pay for are doing to innocent children, should reach people. Tell people to follow their consciences, download the Nuremberg Principles and 10 photos, show them to 10 people and pass it on and on.
Then American citizens must take a stand with good people and go to their Congress person's local office with the Nuremberg Principles and pictures and say with all their might. “THIS IS EVIL. WE DEMAND AN END TO THIS.” The only hope is for American citizens to insist that Congress remove the war plotters before a “Major terrorist event” gives them cover to escape war crimes justice by declaring a State of Emergency and replacing Government by the People with Government by Decree.
The American military must be made by Congress to remove all occupying soldiers from Iraq and not use the aftermath of an illegal war as the excuse to divide and conquer a nation. The U.S. should offer asylum to the governing council members and other prominent collaborators for their own protection.
Then the American people must make peace with the world by swallowing their pride and admitting that the root cause of 9/11 was Americans allowing their government to distribute hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons around the world and looking away from the suffering their weapons profiteering caused. To go from being the most hated people in the world and restore their honor, the United States should impose an absolute embargo on the export of weapons from America. Have big parades for the returning soldiers to celebrate the triumph and victory of Peace and truth over a War of Deceptions. To make peace with the people of the world, all Congress members should stand on the steps of the Capitol and tell the world “I stand for the Nuremberg Principles.” Then shout it out to the world, America. “WE STAND FOR THE NUREMBERG PRINCIPLES”

John Mackesy is a Harvard College graduate. He is a former businessman and teacher. He is currently working at the Napa Valley California. He contributes regularly to various newspapers and publications around the world.